Content Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide for Interior DesignersJan 18, 2022
Working in the interior design industry gives you a unique opportunity to showcase your talents while helping clients get the most out of their indoor spaces. But how exactly do you connect with these clients in the first place? The answer lies in creating an effective content marketing strategy.
Not quite sure what content marketing is? Don’t worry — you’re not alone. While interior designers can breathe life into even the blandest of rooms, most have no idea where to begin when it comes to content marketing.
In this article, we’re going to take a deep dive into the realm of content marketing. We’ll discuss what it is and how it can help your business. We’ll even provide you with a helpful roadmap so you can start creating a great content marketing strategy for your interior design business.
Whether you’re an up-and-coming solopreneur or part of a larger interior design firm, this guide’s for you.
What Is Content Marketing?
Simply put, the phrase “content marketing” refers to the process of publishing various marketing content online. You can post this content on the platform of your choice, including:
- Your website
- Social media platforms
- Email correspondence
Content marketing is distinctly different from traditional advertising in that it should not be explicitly promotional. Instead, content marketing materials should generate interest among viewers and encourage them to learn more about your services.
Educational or informative content is always a big hit with readers, especially in the interior design industry. Content marketing materials should also draw viewers deeper into the marketing funnel and give you a chance to openly promote your services.
What Kinds of Content Can I Use?
Before discussing what content marketing materials are, let’s reiterate what they are not. Content marketing materials are not the same as advertisements. When creating materials for marketing purposes, do not try to sell yourself or demonstrate why you’re the best interior designer for a particular type of product.
At its core, content marketing should add value to the audience’s life. It should offer your potential customers something useful that they didn’t have before.
Your content can take many forms, including blogs, videos, or social media posts. It may be informational, educational, or just plain fun to read. If you can accomplish all three in a single piece, then you’re winning at content marketing!
While your marketing content should never be expressly promotional, most of it should include a gentle CTA, which stands for “call to action.” Unfortunately, failing to insert a call to action is one of the most common blogging mistakes that interior designers make.
A CTA is typically posted after your content. So, for example, if you’re targeting prospective clients at the early stages of the marketing funnel, then your call to action may say something like, “Check out our blog for more articles like this one.”
What Is Content Creation?
As the name suggests, content creation is the process of crafting new and intriguing content to promote your interior design business. You can create content marketing materials yourself or outsource this responsibility to a digital marketing firm.
Some digital marketing agencies specialize in a particular type of content, while others can assist with all of your online advertising needs. When you’re deciding what type of content to use for your campaign, be careful not to become one-dimensional.
For instance, let’s say you have a knack for writing engaging blogs that perform really well with your target audience. However, while blogging is a great way of attracting new clients, this type of content alone will not result in maximum engagement.
That’s why we recommend leveraging multiple types of content for digital marketing purposes. This may include pictures with captivating captions or the occasional video. Sprinkling these types of materials in with your usual blogs and other forms of written content will help increase brand awareness.
What Is Content Strategy?
Your content strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how and where you will be deploying your marketing materials. When creating a content strategy, determine where you want to display your materials, what segment of your target audience you’re trying to connect with, and which platforms you’re going to use.
Depending on the size of your business, you may want to create a broad content strategy with a separate plan for each campaign. This approach will help ensure that you don’t lose sight of your goals during the content creation process.
What Is a Marketing Funnel?
The marketing funnel is a concept used to describe a client’s journey towards paying for your services. At the start of the funnel, you are at the awareness phase. This is when a prospective client first learns about your interior design services.
There are many variations of the marketing funnel, but just about every version contains 4-6 stages. These stages typically consist of:
- Conversion (making a purchase)
Generally, content marketing effectively guides a prospective client through the first four phases of the marketing funnel. However, if an individual is already strongly interested in interior design services, then a single piece of content marketing material may escalate them to the fourth or even fifth phase.
During the intent phase, the potential client — or “lead” — has decided to hire an interior designer. But they may not be set on using your services yet. That’s when they’ll enter the evaluation phase.
Leads in this phase are ready to be exposed to explicit advertising content, as they will use this information to determine whether they want to pay for your interior design services. Once you guide your leads to the final stage of the funnel, all that’s left to do is give them a one-of-a-kind indoor space!
What Is Content Marketing in Digital Marketing?
All too often, the phrases “content marketing” and “digital marketing” are used interchangeably. But, unfortunately, while the two terms are closely related, they’re not one and the same.
Digital marketing is a broader concept that refers to the process of building brand awareness and acquiring new clients by publishing content online. Digital marketing may include the use of content marketing principles, advertising materials, and any other content that can be relayed to a target audience using the internet.
Content marketing falls under the larger umbrella of digital marketing, but content marketing materials are not straightforward advertisements. Instead, they must be primarily informative, entertaining, or educational in nature.
How to Use Content Marketing
If content marketing is not meant to be self-promotional, then what exactly is its purpose? Content marketing can be used to connect with consumers at various stages of their buying journey. Specifically, you can use content marketing to:
Acquire Fresh Leads
A lead refers to a prospective client who has already been made aware of your interior design services. Leads can vary in quality and may or may not be ready to purchase.
However, high-quality leads are primed to be converted into paying customers, as they have already developed a strong interest in your services.
Content marketing strategies can help you acquire new leads, generate more interest among existing prospects, or increase an individual’s purchasing intent.
Content marketing can also help you increase your brand visibility. Visibility refers to how easy it is for prospective customers to find your website, social media pages, or other content.
While there are many ways to enhance your visibility, the best approach involves leveraging SEO practices. SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the process of increasing your rankings on top search engines like Google.
Expand Your Business
The ultimate goal of any content marketing strategy is to grow your business. A quality content marketing plan will help you improve brand awareness, acquire new leads, and increase conversions.
With that being said, even the best content marketing plans won’t produce overnight results. Therefore, you must follow through with your plan if you want to achieve sustained success in the interior design industry.
How to Market Interior Design Businesses
While acquiring new clients can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, developing a content marketing strategy is much simpler than you might expect. To start creating your company’s content marketing strategy, we recommend that you follow these steps:
Identify Your Target Market
The term “target market” refers to your ideal customer base. This audience should consist of a group of people who have similar attributes. You can classify your target audience based on demographic information, geographic location, and other criteria.
The three key questions you can ask to identify your target market include:
- What benefits do you offer your clients?
- Who is your audience? (age, location, income level, etc.)
- Are there enough people in this audience to sustain your business?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can develop a buyer persona. This refers to a fictitious character that accurately represents one of your core audience segments.
You can create multiple buyer personas depending on the scope of your business. For instance, if you perform interior design services for homeowners and businesses, you should create at least one separate buyer persona for each.
Determine Which Platforms to Leverage
While we strongly recommend using multiple content marketing platforms and various types of content, everyone has to start somewhere. Trying to create blogs and videos while managing a half dozen social media pages is a recipe for disaster.
Instead of stretching yourself too thin, focus your energies on just two or three mediums. For example, work on driving more traffic to your website and begin posting to your company’s Instagram page on a regular basis.
Even if your social media pages have a minuscule number of followers, it’s still important that you use these channels for content marketing purposes. Perhaps, you can go live, post images with intriguing taglines, and publish polls to grow your following. You can also reuse your interior design blog posts to increase visibility on social platforms.
Start Creating Content
If your interior design business is just getting off the ground or if your marketing budget is limited, a blog is going to be your best friend. Quality blog posts will not only help grow your interior design business, but they are also extremely easy to create.
You don’t need high-level video production skills or costly recording equipment to create a blog. All you need to have is a strong knowledge of the interior design industry and an ability to turn a phrase. To get you started, download my free guide "30 Blog Topics Your Audience Wants to Read."
Once you gain a little traction with your written content, it’s time to switch things up and start working on your first video. Not sure where to begin? Check out these 9 can’t-miss interior design video ideas.
Our final piece of advice regarding digital marketing is to be consistent. Irregular social media activity or weeks-long gaps between blog posts will undo all of your hard work.
Once you develop some momentum with your content marketing strategy, it’s important to keep it going. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to outline a firm posting schedule in your content marketing strategy.
For instance, commit to posting on your social media page at least three days per week and publishing one blog each week.
After you get started, closely monitor your results. You can use free tools such as those available on social media platforms and Google Analytics. These will reveal relevant information about your content marketing efforts so you can easily see what works and what doesn’t.
Start Growing Your Interior Design Business
Now that you know what content marketing is, you can start using it to grow your interior design business. Interested in additional resources? You’re in luck! Behind the Design has a new marketing resource for you.
Our free eBook, 20 Simple Ways Interior Designers, Can Drive More Website Traffic, will help you get started with your content creation strategy so you can start bringing in more potential clients. Don’t miss out on this freebie! Register for your eBook from Behind the Design today.
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